Devastated, but now it’s all about Australia on Saturday
28 September 2015
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It is fair to say that I was more than a little grumpy for most of the weekend.
The day started so well on Saturday meeting friends for the journey to Twickenham, a beer in Hounslow waiting for the shuttle bus and then into the bar at Twickenham where I was impressed at how quickly we were served our Murphy’s in RWC 2015 souvenirs ‘glasses’.
Into the stadium and I was amazed to find that our seats were directly above the players’ tunnel, opposite the half way line and just behind the stadium announcer. I don’t think I have ever had a better view at Twickenham. The buzz of anticipation was everywhere and the English national anthem was sung with such volume that it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.
The agony and the ecstasy we experience supporting any team is one of the reasons we watch it and Saturday saw the English and the Welsh supporters go through both sets of emotions. I have watched hundreds of games of rugby at all levels where I enjoy the game in its own right and am not usually too bothered about the result. That has applied to watching England too until last weekend when I realised how much I actually care about them succeeding in the World Cup. It was a devastating loss but the Welsh don’t know how to give up and I can only applaud their never say die spirit.
I spent Saturday night and most of Sunday numb with shock. In the stadium bar afterwards, as I steadily got through one pint of Murphy’s after another, my unhappiness was clear to the extent that on two occasions Welshmen came across to sympathise and apologise. I said that there was nothing to apologise for but they said that they were sorry that their team may have ruined the World Cup!
A lot has been made of the decision to go for a try at the end of the game rather than kick for goal. My opinion is irrelevant but click here for a piece written on a personal blog about how that decision may have come about.
On the way back to the hotel and over breakfast the next morning my companions began to get me to cheer up and it was reading social media posts from a couple of friends of mine that shook me out of my self-indulgent reverie. England are now into knockout rugby. A loss on Saturday will see them exit the World Cup but a win will almost certainly see them through to the quarter finals along with the winner of the Australia v Wales game.
Of course I am assuming that Wales will beat Fiji on Thursday, but in this tournament of surprises that is by no means a foregone conclusion.
(With thanks to Winners and Rosie for posting some common sense)